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Democracy Now: Amnesty Int’l. and Rep. Grijalva Talk About Human Rights Abuses in Honduras

August 20, 2009

Amnesty International representative, Esther Major, who authored AI’s  report on human rights abuses in Honduras issued yesterday, August 19, was a guest on Democracy Now this morning.  She summarized some of the key findings found in the report.  Severe human rights abuse have occurred and include beatings and illegal detentions.

Rep. Grijalva,member of Congress from Arizona, was interviewed on the program regarding a letter he sent President Obama concerning the situation in Honduras with specific concerns about human rights abuses.  Grijalva stated that he wrote the letter to President Obama and to the State Department to urge a stronger stance on Honduras which should include a suspension of all aid except humanitarian.

Amy Goodman played a tape of Obama’s famous “hypocrisy” statement where he accused critics of his Honduran policy as being “hypocritical” because, in the past, the same people were against US intervention in Latin America and now want intervention in Honduras.

Grijalva seem less than impressed with these remarks and said that critics, including himself, are not trying to have it “both ways.”   Grijalva said we are not talking about a military intervention or an economic takeover in Honduras but a response consistent with the principles of the US and aimed at humanitarian assistance.  Grijalva said that Obama’s remarks “misled reality.”

Goodman asked Grijalva if Lanny Davis’ close relationship to Hillary Clinton might be causing the US to take a lukewarm approach to Zelaya and resolution of the problem. Grijalava said he hoped not, but having a hired gun work for coup government which seized power  by force, but the line between Clinton and should be clear.

Major adds the the purpose of the AI report is to place international pressure on the US to workd for a “negotiated solution” in Honduras.

Juan Gonzalez said he saw many similiarities between Honduras and the 1991 coup d’etat in Haiti in which the US officially opposed the coup but did everything imaginable to run out the clock so that President Aristed was not returned to Haiti until his term was nearly up. gonzalez asked Grijalva if the US is “running out the clock.”  Grijalva said that by the US continuing to wait to take direct action, it has allowed the de facto regime to solidify power through the use of the police and military.

A tape of the program will be ready for viewing between 9:30 – 10:00 am (EDT)

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